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In Memoriam: Shirlie Ileen Bucher

Courtesy of the Engman Family

Shirlie Ileen (Engman) Bucher, age 86, of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, died Friday, April 8, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska.  Shirlie and her twin, Rosalie Ileen Beckett (1929-1983), were born September 27, 1929 at the Glacier Hospital in Cut Bank, Montana, to German homesteader/sodbuster Henry Otto and Mary Edna Peterson of Cut Bank, deceased. 

Shirlie married Virgil Lovely Summerlin in 1948, moved to California but divorced shortly after their son Bill Summerlin was born. Moving back to Cut Bank, she met and married Emil Theodore Engman of Harlem, MT in 1955 and had two sons, Fred Allen and Steven Ray Engman.  Shirlie and Emil ran a small nursing home in their home in Shelby while raising their three sons until the late 1960’s.  Shirlie had a franchise for a Circle K Convenience Store in Shelby until the 1980’s and worked at the Albertson’s Store after she gave up her franchise. Emil owned and managed Marias Construction Company (excavation and gravel pit) in Shelby; upon sale of the company, he went to work for Toole County running a road grader. Emil passed away in1977, while on their first vacation without the children.  Shirlie married Patrick Louis Bucher in the late 1970’s. Pat passed away in 1986.


  Shirlie moved to Wasilla, AK in 1990 to be near her sons, Bill,Fred and Steve.  She began a new career delivering newspapers and in 1991 was awarded Carrier of the Year because of her unfailing dedicated delivery service to her customers.  She had not missed a day of delivery in 18 months, managing her route through ice, snow and moose.  Her Boston terrier, Clarence, accompanied her for every delivery.

After the death of sons Bill (1949-1994) and Fred (1956-1994), she moved to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, AK to live near her son Steve for her remaining years.  At Unalaska/Dutch Harbor she helped raise her grandchildren, the delight of her life.  She also began pursuing her art.  A prolific artist in all mediums, she best enjoyed oil painting.  She held art classes and helped students with their art sales, as well as selling much of her art work in the local market.

Preceding her in death are Emil Engman, Bill Summerlin, Fred Engman, her parents H.O. and Mary Peterson, sisters Marjorie Joy Higgins, B. Jewell Wolk, Rosalie Ileen Beckett and her brother Robert (Bob) Henry Peterson. 

Shirlie is survived by her only remaining son Steve Engman and his wife Dixie of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, grandchildren Teia Tiffany, Scott Ray and Tosha Lee Engman, Josh Summerlin, and 7 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and potluck for Shirlie will take place Friday, April 22, 2016 at 5 PM.  In addition to sharing memories of Shirlie, the family is planning to display her artwork.  If you have a artwork by Shirlie Bucher that you'd like to share, please contact Shirl at the Senior Center, or Dixie Engman at 359-3850.